Haute Dog

TV review by
Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media
Haute Dog TV Poster Image
Dog grooming competition is fun, pun-filled comfort-viewing.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Stands out for positive role models.

Educational Value

Viewers will learn about dog grooming terms and trends (teddy bear cut, donut mustache, etc.), as well as different dog breeds (Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, Westies, mixed breed rescue dogs, etc.)

Positive Messages

The bonds dogs and people develop can be as important as relationships between people. If you have a passion, follow it. Competition can bring out the good in people, such as a willingness to share resources and make it a fair fight.

Positive Role Models

Contestants mostly model kindness and support throughout the competitions. The host and judges can be snarky, but mostly the comments are complimentary and constructive. Host, judges, and contestants are diverse in terms of skin color, race/ethnicity, gender, age, and body size. Some references to gender-bending in reference to the dogs (some are groomed in "drag," i.e. as a gender they are not).  

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

A groomer shaves cleavage into the chest fur of a dog and refers to them as "boobies." Host makes a sexual innuendo about "scissoring" in another episode.

Consumerism

Contestants compete for a significant cash reward.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Haute Dog is a reality TV competition featuring dog groomers competing for the award of "Best in Show" and $10,000. Host Matt Rogers leads contestants through two challenges, and Jess Rona, celebrity dog groomer and Instagram star, and comedian Robin Thede serve as judges. Various dog breeds are featured, and viewers will learn about grooming terms and trends. Contestants are generally kind and supportive of each other. Comments from the judge's table can edge on snarky, but mostly they bring good-natured humor to the format. Host, judges, and contestants represent a variety of skin colors, races/ethnicities, gender presentations, ages, body sizes, and even hair colors. Sexual content limited to a groomer shaving cleavage into a dog and calling it "boobies" and a sexual innuendo about "scissoring" that kids won't pick up on and some parents will even miss. The term "bucket bitch" is used once. Overall, a family-friendly pick.

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What's the story?

In each roughly 28-minute episode of HAUTE DOG, three contestant groomers compete in two challenges on a theme (Hollywood, wild west, royalty, etc.). In the first challenge contestants are given the same breed of dog to groom. The winning groomer of this challenge earns five extra minutes of time in the next round. The groomers bring a dog they know to groom for the second round. Dogs are paraded in front of judges dog-show style, and one lucky dog is then awarded "Best in Show" and their groomer wins $10,000. Host Matt Rogers moves the competition along, and judges Rona and Thede offer critiques and commentary.

Is it any good?

While Emmy-winning TV this is not, this series has several things going for it that make it a worthwhile pick, especially for dog-lovers. The set for Haute Dog has a wonderfully nostalgic late-'70s/early-'80s design covered in framed portraits of dogs and golden canine statues. The judges dress to each episode's theme, with outfits as interesting as the set. The dog puns and jokes are endless and sometimes quite laugh-worthy. Host Matt Rogers and judges Rona and Thede have great chemistry. Dogs get glamour shots made all the more dramatic and humorous with a wind machine. Perhaps the most surprising and lovely aspect of this series is the respect it shows for the contestants who are incredibly passionate about what they do -- their artistry is showcased without condescension or mocking. Plus, there are so many adorable dogs. The puns can wear thin and comedian Robin Thede's contributions don't seem all that helpful, but on the whole, this series is binge-worthy fun for the whole family.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the humor used in Haute Dog. How would you describe the humor? Is it silly? Full of puns? Laugh-out-loud funny? How did the show's humor impact your experience while watching it?

  • How does this show compare to other reality TV competition shows you've watched? What are some similarities and differences?

  • What were you surprised by? What questions might you ask the host, judges, or contestants about dogs, dog grooming, or being on a show like this?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

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